Manchester United still have their Premier League top-four destiny in their own hands following the 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
It seemed like injuries to first-choice centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez would cost them a Champions League spot just like it cost them a place in the Europa League semifinal.
Club captain Harry Maguire had a night to forget in Seville and did not start a game since, with manager Erik ten Hag preferring to utilise Victor Lindelof and left-back Luke Shaw in the heart of defence.
Both did commendable jobs but the Swede has often been made a scapegoat and to many fans, his partnership alongside Maguire during the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era has often been termed as one of the club’s weakest.
Lindelof, Maguire out?
Despite his impressive resurgence in the absence of the World Cup winning duo, Lindelof still has not started as many games as he would have liked, appearing from the start on 23 occasions across all competitions.
While it is expected that the former Leicester City man might make way in the summer, there is a chance that the Sweden international could follow suit if journalist Rudy Galetti is to be believed.
The Italian suggested to Givemesport that the Reds are in the market for two additions in defence and that might mean an exit for both backup centre-backs.
“Manchester United are interested in both players. In fact, United are planning at least two incoming moves to strengthen the defence and to replace some players.
“For example, Bailly will return to Marseille at the end of the loan in June. There is Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire who are both outgoing. So, Kim and Timber are on the list for United.”
Napoli’s Kim Min-jae, recently crowned as a Serie A champion, has been frequently linked with a move to Old Trafford and statistics back up why a move is a no-brainer from United’s perspective.
The South Korean has racked up 21 clean-sheets in 43 games across all competitions and he has guided his club to having the best defensive record in the league.
Timber and Kim in?
The other defensive prospect being eyed by United is Jurrien Timber of Ajax, who was close to making the move last summer itself.
However, a last-minute change of heart saw him sign a new contract and stay at the Dutch giants but he has admitted that a summer move is likely.
Timber’s passing ability from the back and versatility are huge draws for Ten Hag who knows the player well. There might be concerns with his height, something Martinez also experienced at the start of the campaign.
United need to sell well this summer if they are to increase the summer budget and offloading Maguire makes sense. While Lindelof deserves an extended stay, Ten Hag’s demands might necessitate a ruthless offloading policy.
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